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Can't install HP ColorLaserJet MFP M281fdw

HP ColorLaserJet MFP M281fdw
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

I need help with installing my new printer HP ColorLaserJet MFP M281fdw. My OS is Windows 10 64-bit 1903 with newest updates, the printer has newest firmware and I'm using wifi to connect.


I've succesfully installed this printer at least three times times today. The reason why I have removed and installed it so many times is that for some reason the printer crashes when double-sided printing is disabled in the printer's preferences. When I disabled double-sided printing the printer wasn't working anymore and I had to remove the printer and install it again in order to get it working again, and then disabled double-sided printing again which crashed it again and I had to remove and install it again.. and so on. Finally I was certain that the crash happened because of changing the printer's settings, specifically the double-sided printing setting. I can live with double-sided printing, but it's a shame an expensive printer doesn't allow this annoying feature to be turned off. At least there are work-arounds for it.


However, I am no longer able to install the printer! As seen above, I do know how the printer should be installed as I've done it so many times today, but all of a sudden the installation process can not be finished. When I add the printer on HP Smart, and I'm in the phase where you click on the button and Windows printer settings section pops up. I'd click on the "add a printer or scanner" button as instructed, but the printer will not show up here anymore (unlike all other times when I succesfully installed it). There is just that blue text "The printer that I want isn't listed". If I click on it and try to manually add it by choosing the correct driver Windows suggests, the process will finish but HP Smart says on printer information section that it is not installed and I can't print any documents. However I am able to print the test page, which to me suggest that it is at least partially installed. I can also see the printer drivers on Windows Print Management, and the printer is showing on available printer list (not in Windows Settings Printers & Scanners though).


Please help.

HP Support Agent
HP Support Agent
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Can't install HP ColorLaserJet MFP M281fdw

@Sime1, Welcome to HP Support Community!


Use HP Print and Scan Doctor

Download HP Print and Scan Doctor and run the program. It will automatically diagnose and fix any installation issues.

For more information, go to


If the issue persists, I recommend you delete the driver and root level and retry, follow the steps below: 


1) In Windows, search for and open Programs and features 

2) Select your HP Printer 

3) Select Uninstall 

4) In Windows, search for and open Devices and printers 

5) In the Devices and Printers windows look for your HP printer. If you see it listed right-click on it and choose ‘Delete’ or ‘Remove Device’ 

6) Open up the run command with the “Windows key + R” key combo. 

7) Type printui.exe /s and click Ok. (Note: there is a space in between “printui.exe”

😎 Click on the “Drivers” tab 

9) Look for the HP Printer driver. If you see it Click on it and click Remove at the bottom 

10) Select Ok 

11) Select Apply and Ok on the Print Server Properties windows 

12) Close Devices and Printers.


Now, download and install the full-featured software from here.


This should fix the issue but if it is still giving you an error or crashing, I would suggest you try the Windows built-in drivers. Follow the steps below:


•    Go to Control Panel - Devices and Printers - Click on "Add printer" and follow the on-screen instructions.

•    When the page prompts for the drivers, select "Windows update". The driver list will be updated.

•    Click HP, Hewlett Packard, or Hewlett-Packard in the Manufacturer pane, and then click the name of your printer in the Printers pane.


Refer to this document HP Printers - Installing and Using the Windows Built-in Print Driver for help.


Hope this helps! Keep me posted. 


Please click “Accept as Solution” if you feel my post solved your issue, it will help others find the solution. Click the “Kudos/Thumbs Up" on the bottom right to say “Thanks” for helping!

I am an HP Employee

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